Pret a Manger was recently forced to stop advertising its sandwich bread as “natural”, following an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA ruled that the statements were misleading to customers, who were likely to interpret “natural” food as that made with ingredients found only in nature. The bread in fact contained artificial additives E472e, E471 and E300.

This serves as a reminder to ensure advertising campaigns are honest, particularly in the wake of the wave of health-conscious marketing. The use of the words such as “organic”, “sustainable”, “healthy” and “nutritious” must be backed up by approved evidence and companies should keep up-to-date with evolving regulations. With increasing competition and scrutiny of food, retailers need to be well on top of such issues to avoid damaging the public trust in the authenticity of their products.